Illegal mining in Abuja: Stakeholders want ministry to revisit ICIR report 

GUESTS on a radio programme have advised the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to revisit a report which exposed illegal mining of gold in Kundu, a community in Kwali Local Government Area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

The report published by The ICIR revealed that the Federal Government was losing revenue from gold deposits to illegal miners.

Officials of the ministry had dismissed the report when The ICIR contacted them and they have not taken any action till date.


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Stakeholders urged the ministry to revisit the report while speaking on a radio programme, PUBLIC CONSCIENCE on Radio, produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development (PRIMORG).

Calling on the ministry to take another look at The ICIR report while speaking on the show on Wednesday Secretary-General of Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) FCT Chapter, Adogba Ogar, also urged members of the community to formally write to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to notify security agencies of the activities of the illegal miners.

“I advise the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development that they should revisit that investigative report, and there may be some specific things that they have to do. They have to review that report.”

He commended The ICIR and PRIMORG for exposing the illegality, adding that “such report is needed to help the mining sector and the affected community”.

“The community also should be sincere and honest before reporting such a case,” Ogar added.

Also speaking on the radio program, a native of the Kundu community, whose identity was not disclosed, said the illegal gold mining has continued even after the report.

He said the activity had endangered the health and livelihood of members of the community.

“What is happening is that people are coming to mine in our community and they are not indigenes, and they take away the goods.

“They are coming from Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna. Our people are complaining because they are spoiling our only source of water supply,” he said.

He agreed to go back and write a formal complaint to security agencies over the illegal mining activity while also calling on the ministry to look into the investigation by The ICIR.

On his part, an investigative journalist with The ICIR, Marcus Fatunmole, revealed that illegal gold mining in Kundu has persisted and worsened by the day, with the Federal Government, security agencies and the community doing nothing tangible to address the problem.

Fatunmole, who blamed the illegality on regulatory failure, faulted the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development for failing to take action even after The ICIR investigation.

He stressed that the Federal Government risk further loss of revenue if no urgent action is taken.



    Fatunmole also observed that residents of the community were abetting the unlawful act.

    “Nigerians should be reminded of what happened in Zamfara in 2010, where over 400 children died as a result of gold mining and the WHO also warned that almost 850 thousand people are at risk of mercury poisoning in Nigeria and the FCT is among the 12 states that were listed,” Fatunmole warned.

    The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Uche Ogah had in September 2021 disclosed that Nigeria was losing $9 billion annually to illegal mining and smuggling of gold.

    The radio program is supported by the MacArthur Foundation.

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